Adore with ethnicity | Sunday Observer

Adore with ethnicity

Shenuka Silva is no run-of-the-mill 21st Century girl. This strikingly attractive twenty – three to be lass combines beauty, brains and creativity in no mean measure. She is also a person who aims high but with her feet firmly on terra firma. These attributes have stood her in good stead and today Shenuka Silva is a Marketing Executive with the star class One Galle Face Mall while creating and retailing her EUPHORIA brand of jewellery.

EUPHORIA is the result of Shenuka’s love of canines and her desire to do something for their welfare. Misty dreams crystallised when she was around 16 years, the time she was studying for her A/Levels. She wanted to rescue, rehabilitate and find good homes for homeless waifs but this far seeing girl realised that such an undertaking would need money. Her great sense of responsibility also did not allow her to be content with a one off project- sustainability of the project was of paramount importance to her.

Since creativity is her forte she hit upon creating jewellery that is aesthetically pleasing and would be a pleasure to wear. The income from the sales of EUPHORIA items go into a fund for the project for dogs and some of it is pumped back into the business. Shenuka hopes that she will collect enough money in the near future to start her canine welfare project as a viable and sustainable endeavour.

The EUPHORIA jewellery collection covers a range of designs from delicate to chunky and ethnic to geometrical. Many items are handmade and each item is handpicked by Shenuka. The handmade pieces are lovingly and meticulously assembled by her. She watches tutorials on jewellery making to learn new ways of making items of jewellery.

Handmade delicate dream catcher pendants and head chains, ethnic pieces floral crowns, chokers made of saree borders, anklets and rings of a myriad of designs form a part of the EUPHORIA collection.

Jewellery is imported mainly from Malaysia and China as well as the components for the handmade jewellery. Shenuka gives a unique touch to the handmade pieces by doing something different, for example, clasps fitted in a different way.

EUPHORIA jewellery is marketed through Facebook and Instagram. Delivery or pick up options are available though for some items like rings Shenuka advises pickups for it is essential to get the correct fit.

The clientele range in age from teens to late 30’s. According to Shenuka sometimes a mother will bring a child and end up buying a piece of jewellery.

Recycled bags made of pages from magazines are used to pack the jewellery. Loving nature and animals is in Shenuka’s blood. Her maternal grandfather, the legendary Nihal Fernando of Studio Times fame was one of Lanka’s leading wildlife photographers and dedicated environmentalists.

Parents Anu Weerasuriya and Chris Silva are both top class photographers and wildlife enthusiasts. Maternal uncleYohan Weerasuriya too is a keen wildlife enthusiast. So, it is no wonder that Shenuka is passionate about animals and their wellbeing is a mission in life for her.

Shenuka had her secondary education at CMS Ladies College, Colombo where she was a fourth generation LCite. Shenuka’s childhood and youth were very closely intertwined with nature and wildlife. Many were the trips undertaken with Grandfather Nihal to the National Parks and the jungles. Camping was another pastime she enjoyed. She has vivid memories of camping on Kalinga Nuwara Island in the middle of the Mahaweli River. A rope tied to a tree helped them haul their luggage from the mainland to the island. Later, they had fun floating downriver on tyre tubes which were securely tied to the rope. Shenuka has also volunteered with Embark, the canine welfare project spearheaded by Otara Gunawardene.

After A/Ls Shenuka went to Sunway University in Malaysia to read for a Bsc in International Hospitality Management and this was an unforgettable and eye opening experience for her. She was on her own for the first time in her life. She enjoyed this new found independence but also had to face new responsibilities as a young person living alone.

She found life in Malaysia to be very vibrant and shopping was an experience in itself. From luxury malls retailing branded wares to street markets there was something for everyone. Also the entertainment scene was very good said Shenuka. As undergrads at Sunway University Shenuka and her friends had concessionary rates for the Sunway Theme Park and were frequent visitors there.

For Shenuka, one of the biggest advantages of her Malaysian sojourn was the ability to travel in the region. Air Asia, the budget airline operates from Malaysia and Shenuka took advantage of this to fly to Thailand, Cambodia, and South Korea.

Shenuka joined the luxury Meeru Island Resort in the Maldives for her internship and spent two memorable months there. The Resort was operated by an international chain, Champa Hotels and Resorts. Here, she not only got a thorough grounding in how a luxury resort was run but was able to enjoy the beauty of the islands and indulge in water sports. She had the thrilling experience of snorkeling among nurse and whale sharks, turtles and watching dolphins.

After obtaining her degree Shenuka came back to Sri Lanka and worked for Back of Beyond, leisure trade eco lodges and bungalows belonging to Uncle Yohan. She also taught BTEC at her alma mater, Ladies College and she really enjoyed it she says.

Shenuka reads a lot especially books on marketing and social media. She spends much time on working on Euphoria items. “I love creating things” she said. Travelling is another pastime she enjoys. When she is very tired she watches Netflix. And of course, the one thing she never tires of - playing with her beloved dogs, Athena the husky, Lassie (15 years and has been through the Tsunami and is deaf and blind now), Patch and Ginger.

Shenuka believes that what matters in life is being good and not hurting others and that basically all religions teach this.

As for Sri Lanka, she feels that the country has developed with world class shopping and entertainment facilities and a dynamic leisure industry. However, like everyone else she bemoans the setbacks caused by the Easter Sunday blasts and hopes for a quick recovery. Asked about her future plans she said she hopes to get her canine project off the ground and develop Euphoria. She wants to branch out by creating gold and silver jewellery sometime in the future. Event planning has always interested her and she is excited about gaining experience in this field at her present job.

Good luck Shenuka and may success be yours always!

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